Ever since Friday afternoon, most of the baseball talk on Twitter have been focused on a rumoured trade of New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays for a package of players including their top prospect Travis d'Arnaud. As of the time of posting, nothing has been confirmed yet, but Yahoo! Sports columnist Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) believes that the deal is very close to being done:
Source: Mets and Blue Jays on the verge of deal that would send R.A. Dickey to Toronto, Travis D'Arnaud to Mets. Teams looking at medicals.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 15, 2012
There would be more players involved in the trade than Dickey and D'Arnaud. They are the principals.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 15, 2012
The trading of medicals mean that it is likely that the two clubs have agreed to the trade in principle. The Mets may take a little while longer with d'Arnaud's file as he tore a ligament in his knee last season. The Jays' doctors may take some time marveling at Dickey's lack of an ulnar collateral ligament (he was born without one in his right elbow).
Jeff Passan's source corroborates with FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal), who earlier reported the same after there were some rumours that the Blue Jays did not want to give up d'Arnaud in the trade. It is likely that the trade talks between Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos and his Mets counterpart Sandy Alderson started with just Dickey and d'Arnaud with Anthopoulos reluctant to do a straight-up trade with his catcher of the future. Young d'Arnaud is the best catching prospect in Major League Baseball and has a tremendous ceiling--I can't see Anthopoulos agreeing to this trade unless a significant, controllable, piece comes back along with Dickey. Sportsnet's Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) compared these negotiations to the ones a month ago that resulted in the 12-player trade with the Miami Marlins, after Anthopoulos was offered Josh Johnson for Adeiny Hechavarria and Justin Nicolino. It's unlikely that we will be seeing another huge blockbuster here, but there could be around four or five players involved here. I'm more concerned with the quality of players involved than the size of the Dickey deal.
One of the"other pieces" going to the Mets may be outfielder Anthony Gose, who had been heavily involved in various rumours today. There hasn't been any significant rumours regarding who else the Mets may be sending, but Jays fans on Twitter seem to be settling on first baseman Ike Davis, lefty Jon Niese, and righty Zach Wheeler. I don't know why the Jays would need more starting pitching, but they could use them for a subsequent trade.
The thought of what other players may be involved is probably secondary to ensuring that R.A. Dickey agrees to a contract extension with the Blue Jays; however, as of 4 pm Friday (eons ago!) Dickey's agent Bo McKinnis told ESPN's Jim Bowden that he hasn't been working on an extension with any team. Dickey is scheduled to make $5 million in 2013, a bargain-basement price for someone of his caliber. He is reportedly asking for a two-year extension worth $26 million, and the Mets' offer was in the range of $20 million over two years.
Understandably, Blue Jays fans may feel uneasy with this deal, especially if it involves two of the prospects the club received for Roy Halladay (Gose was acquired via Brett Wallace and Michael Taylor) for a pitcher who could be a free agent after one season. While I have been looking forward to seeing Travis d'Arnaud behind the plate for the Blue Jays for a while now, the thought of a 2013 starting rotation consisting of Mark Buehrle, R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson, Brandon Morrow, and Ricky Romero is very, very exciting. But do recall that these are still just rumours, with most of the details coming late into the night from a few reporters.
Blue Jays fans have been waiting for the club to win for a long time--if this trade does happen, it may just put the team up and over the top.
Title comes from R.A. Dickey's book, something that I think I should add to my list to Santa--it'll look great on my shelf beside the books by Dirk Hayhurst and Shawn Green. Also, please slow down on those "Dickey" puns and double entendres in the comments--too much of is annoying.